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  1. NHF

    We are here for help.

    Joshua, thank you for your response. We have both looked into the suggest material and making positive steps. Equally reading like-minded and simar situtations on this forum is helping to make things feel and seems less "skewed". There is a long way to go, but I hope this is the start of the correct direction.
  2. Before I start, the other half of this is in the main chat section, written by my partner. But these are my thoughts and feelings. A few days ago, my boyfriend(he is 23) told me (I’m 21) about his addiction to pornography. He said it is no longer an issue now, and hasn’t been for around 8-9 months now. However it was ongoing before this and for over a year of our relationship. He said it started just over a year before our relationship, as he had a girlfriend who didn’t get intimate with him (they apparently only had sex 5-6 times in a 1.5 year relationship) so it essentially started in their relationship and got much worse in the time he was single and having no sex at all. It’s gradually got better since being with me and somehow he got past it. However this doesn’t change the emotions I have felt since finding out. We have been together 1 year and 8 months, so the majority of this time he had still been struggling with the addiction. I had absolutely no idea however looking back there were warning signs that bothered me at the time but I never came to the conclusion this was the cause. Red flags: - Sexual performance difficulties at the start of our relationship (i just assumed it was because I was new to him as our sex life has been absolutely fine ever since the first few times) - Liking and following girls on social media. The photos he liked were often bikini/provocative photos both from girls he knew and girls he didn’t know in person. I regularly told him that this made me feel uncomfortable, but he continued for a long time despite promises he respected my thoughts and he would avoid them. (He has since said that these photos were a factor in his addiction, fuelling him to want to watch porn. This is one of the really hurtful parts of it all, because some of these girls are people I know too, and from my perspective it feels like I wasn’t good enough, for example why didnt he just look at photos of me instead of the friends/random girls he had on social media. - Looking at attractive girls when they walked by (some of which were my friends) which really hurt my self esteem. - Hiding and deleting messages from female friends. The only ones I read myself (that hadn’t been deleted) were a string of texts to one of our mutual friends/colleagues. He was extremely flirtatious in the messages and I honestly almost walked out the night I found them. Just before I confronted him, i pretended I hadn’t seen them and asked if he had heard from her. He straight up lied to my face. That’s when alarm bells started ringing. Lies are something I never want in a relationship. (He has since said that this was another way of satisfying that other side of him - although I have no idea how that relates, if anyone could explain even just this one particular part it would mean so much) My biggest fear is if this dishonest side will continue to show up in our future. I completely believe that he hasn’t watched a thing in months (we moved in together, work from home and spent lots of time together). He said he will be completely honest in the future and never hide things. But my question is - how do you trust after broken promises, lies and someone who can cover things up so well. Since finding out I have felt so many emotions, confusion, anger, betrayal etc. I have anger that he knowingly had the addiction, but pursued a relationship with me, but at the same time I feel like we have had so many amazing times I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve wondered if he truly does find me physically attractive, because I think of all of the girls online he must have thought about in a sexual way. I wonder if the times I was having the best time with him, that he was thinking about his addiction more than me. I worry that he’s not told me everything, despite him being so honest with me. I feel disgusted at the thoughts he must have had, the countless hours of watching other girls have sex, the material he’s viewed. I feel disgusted that he’s had these thoughts, particularly whilst in my family home, and to satisfy the urge/want he flirtatiously messaged our mutual friend while sat in the room with one of my parents, it truly does disgust and devastate me. But at the same time I go through feelings of trying to understand and rationalise things, but then a few minutes later I will go back to the negative emotions. I have never had to deal with anything like this and never thought I would have to. It sometimes doesn’t feel real. I’ve not been able to sleep properly for 3 consecutive nights and I’m now still in bed on a Monday afternoon, I’ve wasted the whole day again. But one thing I’ve never stopped feeling is love for him. I am honestly so confused. We have also recently left our home country to do some travelling, so finding out this news in a time that I’ve been really enjoying and knowing they should be the best months/year of my life has really made things difficult. It’s just me and him, I haven’t got my family and friends nearby anymore to take my mind off things and talk to them. I also feel I couldn’t talk to anyone I know about it any anyway, as I now feel I can’t trust the people closest to me in a way. I am so confident that he is ‘the one’ and I completely want a future with the man I fell in love with (he really is one of the most caring, loving and respectful people I have ever met, which is maybe why it has been such a shock), but finding out about the past dishonestly in our relationship is crushing and it does make me worry for the future. I want to find a way to get past this, stop thinking about it, be able to sleep, enjoy travel and live as normal. I want to trust him and have no worries. I want to understand what he is trying to explain (that it was nothing to do with me and it was completely separate etc). Any advice on how to understand this all will be really appreciated. Thank you, The Partner
  3. Hello all, I want to keep this as short as I can but I make no promises, I tend to get carried away when emotional. Also there will be a second post by this account in the "Partner Concerns" section, if you would like to read my Partner's writing, which has been written separately to me writing here. So here goes... A few nights ago I (23) told my girlfriend (21) about the addiction to porn I suffered with in the past, and it overlapped with our relationship in the beginning (Edit: I suffered the addiction for just shy of 2 years). The worst of the addiction was before we got together roughly two years ago, I think we are both understanding of why the addiction occurred looking at my past history. This is the second addiction I have had to contend with in my life, as I had an addiction to gaming in my early teens, this coupled with other factors of my past we are certainly confident we know why things got the point they did. That point in question was feeling disgusted and humiliated at myself when it got to the point I couldn't get an erection trying to masturbate for the fifth time in a row, with raw and bloody friction burns on my penis. I made the decision to make a change in my life, I went to university and the gym obsessively to fill my time. It was at university I met my girlfriend in my second year. My addiction was being better managed at this point, the filling my time with work and the gym along with actually wanting to get a handle on my life that made the difference. However it still wasn't 'cured', it did lead me to making some awful decisions in the beginning of our relationship. These included things like following and looking at random female accounts on instagram, looking at girls in public, messaging other girls in a flirtatious way, watching heavy amounts of porn and masturbating when we were apart. Granted not anywhere near as severe as it used to be but it was still a problem. The worst part is my girlfriend had suspicions something was up, she asked me about the messaging and the images on instagram and I lied straight to her face. It is this which is the worst part of all of this for me. I have battled with my addiction myself, I have never told a single soul about it until my girlfriend just a few short nights ago. This girl is the love of my life. I look at her and she’s the most honest, kind hearted human being I have ever met. She has shown me so much love, so much affection and understanding through out our relationship. We ended up living together, because of our daily routine we spent 24/7 together, very literally, and it was never a chore. I woke up and was excited to start the day with her, I went to bed every night looking forward to seeing her again tomorrow. She has captured my heart in a way I never thought possible, and I feel an unprecedented level of guilt, shame and sadness that I have caused her so much hurt because of this situation. How could I hurt this person like this? How could I not be in control of myself. It’s terrified me, but not as terrifying as it is to feel like I am losing her. Nothing hurts me more inside than seeing her anything less than the happy person she is, especially when I am the cause of that pain. She wants me to explain myself and rightly so… but I have never talked to anyone about this and if I am truthful I don’t understand it myself. How can I explain this to a person who means so much to me? Something which I don’t even understand myself. I tried to explain it’s not me, it’s like having a backpack that is always attached to me, background noise which just won’t disappear no matter how loud you make the music of life. I cannot quantify the levels of struggle I have endured to pull myself in the right direction. It’s been about 9 months since I have watched porn, and I have been feeling great in myself in that regard the past couple months. This is thanks to the fact we are together 24 hours a day 7 days a week (we work from home) in our current lifestyle. It has been a so hard, so so so hard to get to where I am today fighting on my own in the background, but I wanted to do it for her, me and us. Our future is what’s important to me and I am glad to say I feel in control of myself and my actions. However now she is left trying to make sense of the situation, and of course she is struggling, devastated, confused and broken. I need help, she needs help, we both need help to move past this and to what we both want. A happy, normal life full of the all good things we have experienced together, less the bad. She cannot comprehend that I am not the person she believed I was, a kind hearted, caring, empathetic, dependable boyfriend with morals. But I want her to know, I am that person, however just like our favourite TV character, I have a dark passenger of my own. I feel like we have been moving down a road together so brilliantly, I love every minute of it. However now there are two extremely complex mazes in our path. I feel like I have nearly completed my maze, getting on top of my behaviour. But sadly she has only just entered her maze, and I need some help me to take her hand and guide her through there back onto our common path. It's all either of us want. Thanks everyone, The addict